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‘It’s incredible’: HPV vaccine saves thousands of women from cervical cancer, UK study shows

The NHS vaccination programme to prevent cervical cancer has so far stopped thousands of women from developing the disease and experiencing pre-cancerous changes to cells, a study has found.

In the first proof that the programme launched in England 13 years ago is saving lives, the Cancer Research UK-funded study found that cervical cancer rates in women offered the vaccine between the ages of 12 and 13 (now in their 20s) were 87% lower than in an unvaccinated population.

Researchers said cases in this age group, which are rare, dropped from about 50 per year to just 5.

There were also reductions in cervical cancer rates of 62% in women offered vaccination between the ages of 14 and 16, and 34% in women aged 16 to 18 when vaccination was introduced.

Professor Peter Sasieni, lead study author, from King’s College London, said: “It’s been incredible to see the impact of HPV vaccination and now we can prove it prevented hundreds of women from developing cancer in England.

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Source: The Guardian, 4 November 2021


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